Accessibility links

Breaking News

Pakistani Minister Offers Bounty For Anti-Islam Filmmaker

Pakistani protesters hold banners and flags while taking part in an anti-American protest rally in Karachi on September 21.
Pakistani protesters hold banners and flags while taking part in an anti-American protest rally in Karachi on September 21.

A Pakistani government minister is offering a $100,000 reward for the death of the maker of a film denigrating Islam's Prophet Muhammad.

Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour told reporters in the northwestern city of Peshawar on September 22 that he would pay the bounty out of his own pockets.

Bilour also invited Taliban and Al-Qaeda members to take part in what he called a "noble deed."

The minister called on countries to “make laws regarding people insulting our Prophet.” “And if you don't," he added, "then the future will be extremely dangerous."

His ANP party, which is part of the governing coalition, told the BBC that this was a personal statement, not party policy. The party added that it would not be taking any action against Bilour.

A spokesman for Pakistan's prime minister said the government disassociated itself from the minister's announcement.

Bilour's comments came one day after violent protests across Pakistan against the film "The Innocence of Muslims" left more than 20 people dead.

The privately-made film, produced in the United States, has sparked violent protests throughout the Muslim world in recent days.

More than 50 people were reported killed since the first demonstrations broke out on September 11 after a clip of the film was posted on the Internet.

The origins of the film remain unclear but its alleged producer, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, has gone into hiding.

The publication this week of cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad in a French satirical magazine has further stoked anger.

Tens of thousands of people on September 22 marched in Nigeria's second city of Kano, in a protest that passed off peacefully.

Marchers shouted "Death to America, death to Israel and death to the enemies of Islam," and dragged U.S., Israeli, and French flags on the ground.

The demonstration was organized by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, a pro-Iranian group that adheres to the Shi’ite branch of Islam.

In Egypt, the leader of the Salafist Nour Party told the Reuters news agency that the film and the French cartoons were part of a rise of anti-Islamic actions since the Arab spring revolts.

Emad Abdel Ghaffour, whose party is the second-largest in parliament and shares power with the more moderate Muslim Brotherhood, also urged President Muhammad Morsi to demand legislation or a resolution to criminalize "contempt of Islam as a religion and its Prophet" at the UN General Assembly next week.

With reporting by AFP, Reuters, BBC, and Al-Jazeera
  • 16x9 Image


    RFE/RL journalists report the news in 27 languages in 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. We provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.